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House Agriculture Committee Passes 2012 Farm Bill

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Last Thursday morning, the House Agriculture Committee voted to pass the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act with a strong bipartisan vote of 35 to 11. I'm pleased to share that three of my amendments were included in the final bill. These amendments will reduce fraud in the food stamp program, give cattle and pork producers more certainty on Country of Original Labeling (COOL), and ensure Texas farmers can participate in water research without losing eligibility for farm programs. To learn more about these amendments, visit my website. The bill also includes my group crop insurance policy: the Supplemental Coverage Option (SCO), which allows producers to buy additional coverage on their crops so they don't suffer from large deductibles in the event of a loss. Overall, this bill will reduce our spending, improve program efficiency, and create a strong safety net for America's agricultural producers.

As originally introduced, the FARRM Act saves $35 billion over ten years, and repeals or consolidates more than 100 programs to improve efficiency at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers and ranchers need long-term policies in place by this fall so they can make informed planting decisions. Now that we've passed the farm bill out of committee, I am doing everything I can to enable this bill to pass the House Floor.

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